Osuna has shot with Royals, who are light on LHPs
Edgar Osuna is left-handed, something the Kansas City Royals
have in short supply at spring training.
Osuna, who the Royals picked up from Atlanta in a December draft
of minor league players, has never pitched above Double-A, but the
Royals plan to take a long look at him in camp. They have to keep
him on their 25-man roster all year or offer him back to the Braves
for half the $50,000 drafting price.
Osuna could earn a slot at the back end of the Royals’ rotation
or wind up in the bullpen.
“He is going to get stretched out and hopefully get an
opportunity for us to see him face as many hitters as possible,”
Royals manager Trey Hillman said Sunday.
“The reports are he’s not going to knock your socks off with
velocity, but he pitches really effective to both sides of the
plate and has a plus change up. I want to see the swings. I’ve seen
the stuff now. How often does he throw strikes? How often does he
hit the glove? He’s done a pretty good job of hitting the glove in
bullpen situations and changing speeds.”
Dusty Hughes, who was 0-2 with a 5.14 ERA during a September
call-up, and 20-year-old Cuban refugee Noel Arguelles, who has not
thrown a pitch professionally and will start the season in the
minors, are the only other left-handers on the big league roster in
Hillman said Osuna being left-handed is a benefit.
“I think they always have the advantage,” Hillman. “I’ve said
many times I’d like to have as many of those guys as we can
“It helps,” Osuna said to be left-handed, “but you still need
to make pitches. It doesn’t matter if you’re left-handed or
Osuna’s fastball velocity hovers around 87-89 mph, but he also
has a good change and breaking ball. He has excellent control,
walking only 35 in 150 innings in the minors last year.
“I try to throw balls in the corners and throw strikes early in
the count and get outs,” he said. “Command is one of the things
I’ve been working on the past few years – throw strikes and throw
low in the zone. That’s very important.
“I’ve been using all the pitches. In the past two years, I’ve
been using more my curveball. I trust both my curveball and change
to get outs to anybody. I’m not afraid to throw them in any count.
That’s helped me.”
Osuna went 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 16 games, only two starts, for
Mazatlan in the Mexican winter league when the Royals picked him up
Dec. 10 in the Rule 5 Draft.
“It made me feel happy,” he said. “I was real excited.”
He said it does not matter whether he starts or comes out of the
“I don’t think that’s going to be a problem,” Osuna said. “In
winter ball, I was in a bullpen role. It was okay for me. It’s not
a big difference. If I’m here, it’s because they think I can pitch.
I think in my mind if I’m here, I can pitch. I’m not afraid.”
Nor will he be in awe of major league hitters.
“The hitters they can be good, but I’m good, too,” he
NOTES: DH-OF Jose Guillen was given permission to report late to
make funeral arrangements after the unexpected death of a sibling
in the Dominican Republic. Hillman said he is unsure when Guillen
would arrive. Monday is the report date for position players with
the first full-scheduled workout Tuesday. Guillen and IFs Alberto
Callaspo, Mario Lisson and Wilson Betemit are the only players who
have not yet shown up. Lisson and Betemit are on minor league
contracts. … Overnight rain left the fields wet as the Royals did
most of their workouts indoors Sunday for the second straight